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The dates for the 2021 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards are revealed today, Tuesday 1st September, alongside news of revised judging criteria for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal and new rules to open up eligibility to books published in Ireland.

The Awards – the oldest of their kind in the UK – celebrate outstanding reading experiences created through writing and illustration in books for children and young people and are uniquely judged by librarians. Since 2018, CILIP, the library and information association, and the Youth Libraries Group have been working closely with representatives from across the publishing and library industries to ensure the Awards best champion diversity, inclusion and representation in everything they do.

Revised criteria for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

In 2020, the Awards piloted revised judging criteria for the CILIP Carnegie Medal for writing – as part of its response to CILIP’s independently chaired Diversity Review, which recommended an open and collaborative review of the criteria to foreground inclusion and representation as indicators of quality and excellence. The revised Carnegie Medal criteria – the result of an extensive consultation process during 2019 – focuses on outstanding reading experiences, asking judges and shadowers alike to reflect on the experiences and representation within each nominated book, the author’s treatment of the characters and plot, and the book’s relatability to and potential resonance with its readership.

During the 2020 Awards cycle, CILIP carried out a similar review process for the Kate Greenaway Medal criteria, working with experts in the field of illustration, to produce revised criteria, which is being piloted during the 2021 Awards. Alongside the artistic style, visual experience and synergy between illustration and text, the revised Kate Greenaway Medal criteria asks nominators, judges and Shadowers to reflect on the visual representation within the illustrated books in contention for the Medal, to consider if characters, place and scenes are depicted in a way that promotes inclusion, empathy and understanding.

Jake Hope, the Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards Working Party, and author of the recently published book on visual literacy, Seeing Sense (Facet Publishing, 2020) comments:

“Following last year’s review of the Carnegie Medal criteria, we’ve collaborated with students and staff from Swansea School of Art and experts in the field of illustration to revise the criteria for the Kate Greenaway Medal.  The revised criteria that we are piloting during the 2021 Awards cycle are intended to better recognise the important role that illustration can play in terms of visual representation and diversity.  We hope the criteria will better support both judges and Shadowers in appraising books that provide an outstanding reading experience created through illustration and in helping to meet the award’s mission to inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading.”

Key dates for 2021

Nominations for the 2021 Awards will open on Friday 11th September 2020. Nominations are open to all CILIP members and, following the diversity review of the Awards, several external nominating bodies: BookTrust, CLPE, CommonWord, the English and Media Centre, IBBY UK, Inclusive Minds CIC, National Literacy Trust and RNIB. Nominators are invited to put forward one book per Medal that has been first published in the UK or Ireland between 1 September and 31 August of the previous calendar year. Any books first published in another country must have been co-published in the UK or Ireland within three months of the original publication date. Further details about the eligibility for the Medals can be found at www.ckg.co.uk.

Nominations will be announced in November 2020 followed by longlist, shortlist and winner announcements in 2021. Ellen Krajewski, member of the School Libraries Group and Eastern Representative for the Youth Libraries Group, chairs the 2021 Judging Panel.

Monday 2 November 2020: Nominations announcement

Thursday 18 February 2021: Longlist announcement

Thursday 18 March 2021: Shortlist announcement

Wednesday 16 June 2021: Medal and Shadowers’ Choice Award winners announced

In light of the disruption caused by Covid-19, the 2020 Awards Shadowing Scheme has been extended until October 2020, allowing children and young people more time to engage with the wonderful books on the 2020 Medal Shortlists. Shadowing groups will be invited to vote for their favourite book to win the Shadowers’ Choice Awards later this month with the winners to be announced during National Libraries Week on Friday 9th October.

For further information about the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards visit: www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk  

For media queries, please contact Natalie Jones natalie.jones@cilip.org.uk